Three years ago I made the decision to start setting goals for myself instead of making resolutions. Ever since then, I have been learning how to set goals that I can actually accomplish. One way I fond that is effective was SMART Goals.
“SMART” is an acronym that is used as a criteria that guides goal setting. Each letter is a representation of a concept that assists in ensuring that whatever goal you set for yourself is attainable. This means that you not only set your goals, but that you also have a way of tracking those goals and ensuring their success.
HOW TO SET SMART GOALS
The acronym explained:
S – Specific
A SMART goal must be well defined, clear, and unambiguous. Make your goals clear and to the point. For example, instead of grow my business, make your goal to increase in a specific number of clients or a specific percentage in revenue. Specific goals are easy to track and achieve because you are working towards somethings instead of simply feeling in the dark.
M – Measurable
A SMART goal must have criteria for measuring progress. Once the goals are set, you need to be able to track their success. As with the example above, how do you know if you succeeding with your goal? If the goal is just simply, grow my business, how do you know that the business is growing. But if you specify that I want my revenue to grow by 300%, you are able to track if you are making progress or not. And this will help you to know if you should continue in the same direction or find a new strategy.
A – Achievable
A SMART goal must be achievable and attainable. Goals are a good thing to have. But you need to be careful that you do not set yourself up for failure. You need to be aware of the circumstances around you and know if the conditions you are in will allow you to reach that specific goal. Say you are in a situation where you can only take on two new clients at a time because you have a lack of human resource. Setting up a goal that exceeds your capacity will definitely set you up for failure. So make sure that your goals do no exceed your capacity and that you can actually reach them. Ask yourself: Do I have the resources and capabilities to achieve the goal?R – Realistic
A SMART goal must be reachable and relevant. As I mentioned above, avoid setting yourself up for failure. This step is about ensuring that your goal matters to you, and that it also aligns with other relevant goals that you are undertaking. Are the goals you are setting going to have an impact or are you just simply making them for the sake of having goals? Are they enough to push you to strive forward or will they allow you to be complacent? Assess your goals and make sure that they are both reachable and relevant.
T – Time Bound
A SMART goal must be time bound with a start and finish date. If you do not have a timeline for yourself, it becomes difficult to measure and track the success of your goal. Set up a timeline so that you will know if whether or not you are making progress. Not setting a time to your goals will definitely set you up for failure.
In order to be able to achieve your goals, you need to have them. Write down your main goals for the year and work through them throughout the year.
Break your goals down into smaller chunks that you will be able to work on throughout the year.
Your monthly goals can be tackled in even smaller chunks. This allows you to have an action plan that will not overwhelm you. The monthly planner allows you to prioritize the your goals.
This week planner allows you to write down your priorities for the week. Knowing what takes priority will allow you to successfully navigate through the clutter and focus on what is important.
The daily planner helps you to further breakdown your priorities into smaller daily tasks that will help you work towards the bigger plan.
The work plan allows you to plan out your day and set it our so that you know what needs to be done and when. So not only are you breaking your goals into smaller chunks, but you are also planning out your day so that you know what to do and when to do it.
This template allows you to track your goals individually and have a clear plan of action.